John Schneider, the actor behind Bo Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard, is speaking out after TV Land announced Wednesday it had pulled his former show from its lineup.
The series first came under fire following the murders of nine churchgoers during a June 17 shooting rampage at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina by Dylann Roof, a white supremacist. Following the massacre, all things Confederate were suddenly deemed politically incorrect.
On June 24, as major retailers rushed to pull Confederate flag merchandise from store shelves and websites, Warner Bros. decided to stop licensing products of General Lee, the show’s iconic 1969 Dodge Charger, which bore a large rebel banner across its roof.
Wednesday, TV Land took The Dukes of Hazzard off the air, presumably over the flag controversy, and Schneider isn’t happy about it.
He tweeted an image of Roof burning an American flag, and asked:
I am grossly offended by flag burning. But… is the Golds Gym logo to be considered a symbol of racism as well now?http://t.co/fJTFKqPjpB
— John Schneider (@John_Schneider) July 1, 2015
“I’m kidding, of course, but has it really come to this?” he told the Hollywood Reporter of the tweet Wednesday. “Come on, TV Land, can’t we all just watch TV?”
The 55-year-old also told the industry outlet he is saddened and angry that a “misguided individual can cause one of the most beloved television shows in the history of the medium to suddenly be seen in this light.”
“Are people who grew up watching the show now suddenly racists? Will they have to go through a detox and a 12-step program to kick their Dukes habit? ‘Hi… My name is John. I’m a Dukesoholic,’” he quipped.
“Throwing this particular baby out with the bathwater seems reactionary and overly PC to me,” Schneider added. “If the flag was a symbol of racism, then Bo and Luke and Daisy and Uncle Jesse were a pack of wild racists, and that could not be further from the truth.”
Schneider also told the Hollywood Reporter his residual income from the show has “never been much to write home about,” but said because of its promotion of old-fashioned values, such as honesty, courage, chivalry and rebelliousness, the show should persist.
Anyone who gets hung up on a Confederate flag is missing the point, according to Bo Duke.
“Do I think taking ‘Dukes’ off TV Land is silly?” Schneider asked in a video posted to YouTube Wednesday. “Yeah, of course I do … I think it’s an error because ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ was one of the most beloved shows ever … and now it’s being cast in a terrible light that it does not deserve.”
Watch Schneider’s video below: